[Ebook] ➩ The Railwayman's Wife Author Ashley Hay – Golanvideoagency.info
3.5 STARSSweet, so delightfully sweet This was just what I needed to neutralize the vile, wretched depravity I experienced reading Karin Slaughter s Pretty Girls The Railwayman s Wife is the polar opposite Think the sensation of premium Swiss milk chocolate gently melting on your tongue Or maybe a glorious sunset over the ocean, the shimmering waves alive with a myriad of colors as dusk ushers in the night ahhhh The story takes place in Thirroul, New South Wales, Australia three years after the end of WWII Annikka and Mackenzie Lachlan have been married for well over a decade and their daughter Isabel is celebrating her tenth birthday Living in a house that overlooks the beauty of Thirroul Beach, they often spend time walking the beach, collecting stones and shells, watching the birds and savoring the love for each other Mac loves his work on the rail line that runs along the coast to Sydney, so intimate with the whistles and rumbles of the railcars that he can identify each engine from afar simply by its characteristic sounds Anni has learned the sounds and smells of the trains too Their family is full of love for each other.While the Lachlan s are not directly touched by the horrors of the war, longtime friends Frank Draper and Roy Mckinnon return to Thirroul from the war suffering deep psychological wounds, wounds concealed by paper thin scars that never truly close up and heal Dr Draper was one of the first liberators into the worst of the German camps He feels responsible for the five hundred fifty five prisoners who died when he first entered the camp and carries on his shoulders unrealistic mountains of guilt atop volcanic anger and bitterness Roy was a teacher before entering the service and became famous during the war for writing magnificent poetry Since returning to his sister s home in Thirroul after the war, he s been unable to pen a single word Witnessing and enduring the horrors of tanks and bombs and fire and dead bodies, he could write beautiful poetry Overlooking the endless beauty of Thirroul Beach, his mind is numb and blank as the sheets of paper he stares at day after day.Over the next year the lives of Anni and Isabel, Roy and Frank are slowly but irrepressibly woven together by Mac s sudden death in a railroad accident Annikka has lost the love of her husband Roy has lost his love for poetry Frank has lost his love for life Reconciliation with grief and finding new love along the way is the core of this tale.Anni works through the grief of her husband s death while serving as the new librarian at the Railway Institute s central library at Sydney s Central Station Through his frequent visits to the library, Roy develops some very special feelings for Anni and finally breaks through his creative lethargy with his poem Lost World Frank finally returns to practicing medicine in Thirroul and eventually reconnects with Roy s sister Iris McKinnon But is there such a thing as a happy ending What is it with Australian writers They re awesome The prose is exquisite and so very different than any other style I ve encountered in all my years of reading books Hay artfully and skillfully guides the reader through Annikka s mixed emotions of grief over the loss of her husband, pride that she has been able to carry one after Mac s death, love for her wonderful daughter and awakening feelings for the WWII poet who she frequently encounters at the library and along Thirroul Beach Not lost on me was the central role the library, books, literacy and poems played in this charming story about grief and love and the exploration and new discoveries of life after a loved one has left us Sorry kids, no sex or violence in this one just the soft, intimate emotions of self discovery and new found self awareness This is a light, easy read that will warm your heart and leaving you considering life as you know itLost World Let this be her.A folding of the lightAnd she stepped through, candescent messengerAnnouncing to my sightAnother sense,In this lost world whose colorAnd form flared round her, even intense,And as she passed grew duller You can pick up the rest of the poem when you read the book A special shout out to the good folks at the Westfield Athenaeum for providing me a free ARC edition of The Railwayman s Wife image error In A Small Town On The Land S Edge, In The Strange Space At A War S End, A Widow, A Poet And A Doctor Each Try To Find Their Own Peace, And Their Own New StoryIn Thirroul, In , People Chase Their Dreams Through The Books In The Railway S Library Anikka Lachlan Searches For Solace After Her Life Is Destroyed By A Single Random Act Roy McKinnon, Who Found Poetry In The Mess Of War, Has Lost His Words And His Hope Frank McKinnon Is Trapped By The Guilt Of Those His Treatment And Care Failed On Their First Day Of Freedom All Three Struggle With The Same Question How Now To Be AliveWritten In Clear, Shining Prose And With An Eloquent Understanding Of The Human Heart, The Railwayman S Wife Explores The Power Of Beginnings And Endings, And How Hard It Can Be Sometimes To Tell Them Apart It S A Story Of Life, Loss And What Comes After Of Connection And Separation, Longing And Acceptance Most Of All, It Celebrates Love In All Its Forms, And The Beauty Of Discovering That Loving Someone Can Be As Extraordinary As Being Loved YourselfA Story That Will Break Your Heart With Hope Anikka, Isabel and Mac Lachlan were happy their lives were peaceful, full of love and dreams to be fulfilled The war was finally over, it had been for three years but people were still grieving for those lost, and the survivors were slowly coming home Roy McKinnon, a teacher before the war, arrived at his sister Iris home to try to continue his life His teaching was over, he had no patience any, but the poetry he wrote before the war just wouldn t come to him Frank Draper was a doctor and decided to continue in Thirroul as he had before They were bitter young men, but friends they could lift each others spirits when needed Ani and Mac s love was all encompassing they delighted in their daughter Isabel and the three of them enjoyed their outings to the beach, their picnics and excursions When Isabel turned ten, her gift was a kaleidoscope its magic was spellbounding to Isabel and the wonder and delight at this small gift was heartwarming With Mac leaving before dawn to do his job on the train, Ani would listen to it groan and puff away from Thirroul, knowing it would bring him back later in the day the distinctive sounds of the engine would alert her to his arrival once again.But when tragedy struck, Ani thought her life would never be the same again Trying to find solace in the books she read, her job in the railway s library and Isabel she found herself drifting Much the same as Roy and Frank But slowly, over the weeks and months, Roy started to find his words Frank began to feel a little less angry and Anikka, well she and Isabel began to enjoy life once again Slowly, slowly a struggle for them all, but the light began to look brighter What an amazing book Soft, quiet and melancholy beautiful, lyrical and poetic I don t think I have ever read a book with such magical, deeply tender and illuminating words So many sentences, phrases and paragraphs took my eye, but this one I particularly lovedA jacaranda tree transmogrified into something from the northern fairytales of her childhoodP248This book is one which just meanders through the lives of the people involved, but the nature of it is that it will keep you turning the pages until the end I have no hesitation in highly recommending this wonderful novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. Any book that starts with a kaleidoscope, which is the present Ani and Mac buy for their daughter Isabel s tenth birthday, was always going to have me reading further I love kaleidoscopes, remember them from my own childhood and find it interesting to see them coming back into the shops.Anikka or Ani is very easy to relate to Her daughter Isabel is older than her years but it works, because that is often the way an only child will be especially when tragedy intervenes in her life, as it does for Ani and Isabel when Mac Ani s husband dies in a train accident Set after World War 2, but with flashbacks to earlier times via Anikka s memory, the story takes place in the NSW South Coast town of Thirroul, so the area was familiar to me which I enjoyed The writing is poetic and I loved the way the characters are revealed by their actions as well as their thoughts, and the interaction with others in the town.The other characters are fully developed Iris is one of these neighbours who has people s best interests at heart and yet still manages to often say the wrong thing Roy, her brother is a poet who since the war has been unable to write and is now living with Iris Frank Draper, a doctor who before the war was romantically involved with Iris, carries his share of guilt from the war and those he failed to save.It s not a page turner, but it is a gentle lyrical novel that meanders along as it looks at love and marriage, grief and loss I adored this novel, till the end I m not sure what I expected, but certainly not the ending that the author came up with On the other hand I m not really sure how else it could have ended without heading towards a soppy ending that wouldn t have worked with the rest of the novel and in particular with character of Anikka If you like a novel that is beautifully written and explores change and relationships you should enjoy this, mostly. For over a week I have been trying to write a review of the Railwayman s Wife but can t seem to get past a few random notes and half formed sentences Not even to re articulate the plot except for a few basics There is no reason for this to be so difficult, I liked The Railwayman s Wife well enough, it s a character driven novel, set post WW2 in a small coastal village in southern New South Wales, exploring the pain of grief and loss A wife, Annika, loses a much loved husband to a tragic accident and a returned soldier, Roy, struggles to overcome his wartime experiences, both are hoping for light, love and peace to return to their lives and both fear that it will never eventuate.Not being able to articulate my thoughts about The Railwayman s Wife has played havoc with my schedule, I can t seem to move on to writing the next review, so here are those notes and half formed sentences for you to make of what you will The prose is lovely and the imagery beautifully expressed, definitely the strength of the novel The story unfolds at a measured pace, there is little in the way of overt action with the drama internalised by the characters Annika s grief is realistic as it evolves through time Isabelle s Ani and Mack s daughter precociousness is sweet rather than irritating She has character in her own right Annika s perspective of her relationship with Roy is ambiguous I thought Frank s character to be distracting, I am unsure of his role in the story I found the ending rather bleak, without the sense of hope I expected Overall, it s a melancholy novel, mired in tragedy and emotional distress, but redeemed by occasional glimpses of beauty and love. Booooooorrrrrrrriiiiing Descriptions Endless Descriptions Descriptions describing descriptions Descriptions that may have been beautifully written if only I hadn t zoned out halfway through every paragraph A sad story at its core but way too much poetic fluff, demeaning the intentionally abrupt ending I received a free copy through Goodreads giveaways. I savoured every word every page First class well written with words that flowed throughout the story The Railwayman s Wife is set in Australia 1948 This story starts of as a very happy married couple, Ani and Mac with their daughter Then tragically Ani s husband Mac dies in a freak accident Ani is adamant that there has been a mistake and still expects her husband to come home for dinner Ani is offered a job at the library of the Railway Institute Will Anikka Lachlan accept this offer now she is widow I highly recommend this beautiful novel. There is not a lot of action in this touching novel It is very much a book about ideas and feelings The mood of the book is dominated by the physical beauty and tranquil lifestyle of the seaside town of Thirroul, NSW, a few years after the end of World War Two Three of the main characters share a common element they have been impacted by senseless death, and struggle to come to terms with it, some successfully than others.For me the outstanding feature of this poignant tale is the exquisitely crafted prose The pace of the narrative is languid and contemplative There are many references to Literature, in particular the novel by D.H Lawrence written while he lived in Thirroul, Kangaroo Poetry figures in many of the plot lines and indeed almost every sentence is graceful and poetic One of the main characters is an aspiring poet, and his elegantly worded poem about Ani is an important thread in the story It starts with Let this be her A folding of the light And she stepped through, candescent messenger Announcing to my sight Another sense, In this lost world whose colour And form flared round her, ever intense, And as she passed grew duller.I greatly appreciated the author s insightful approach to the marriage of main characters Ani and Mac Lachlan Working class people with limited means, the strengths of their deeply loving relationship are explored in a respectful way, always tinged with a poignancy handled with great skill by the author 4.5 s Despite hearing many great things about this book, I for some reason kept putting off getting to it Upon picking it up, I was immediately drawn into the story, it s beautiful writing, and the deep emotion that it contains But the I continued to read, the those things started to big things down The Railwayman s Wife is the story of Ani and Mac, Isabelle, Roy, Frank, and the small railway town that shapes their lives Some families have been greatly affected by the war, others in different but equally tragic ways But everyone must learn that love AND loss shape who we are Unfortunately, I could just never get into it I was either tired of the lavish descriptions or simply bored with the story I hate when I catch myself checking the percentage I am through the book rather than experiencing it About the time I thought the pace was picking up, it was over What did I think Personally, this one wasn t for me That doesn t mean it s bad or that it couldn t be someone else s favorite book in the world, but for me it didn t live up to what I had hoped Who should read it If historical fiction that is filled with descriptions and a slower paced painting of the picture, you ll probably enjoy this one. The Railwayman s Wife is the latest novel by Australian author Ashley Hay It s set in the aftermath of World War II in Thirroul, a coastal town in the south of Sydney, Australia The protagonist Anikka Ani Lachlan, lives a life of simplicity with a young family husband Mack and 10 year old daughter Isabella who has remained physically unscathed by the war.Ani s comfortable life is turned upside down when her husband, a railwayman is killed in a train accident Shocked and overwhelmed by grief, Ani tries to rebuild a life for her daughter in these difficult circumstances Ani s widowhood though not unique in wartime, is somewhat excluded from the unofficial war widow community and she tries to make sense of losing her husband not from war but from one of life s daily tragedies Her husband s employer makes arrangements for Ani to work at the railway s library in Sydney and for the first time in her life she is the sole provider for her family She takes pride in this job and experiences the social awkwardness of reconnecting with the community following the loss of a loved one.Secondary characters add another dimension to the story such as Dr Frank Draper whose bitter and candid attitude to life doesn t offend Ani and there s the poet, Roy McKinnon whom she develops an easy friendship with The grief that Ani experiences was well portrayed from awkward conversations with neighbours to discovering unknown details of her late husband s life and the mixed feelings she has about learning aspects of his life from other people Then there s the brightness that Isabella adds to the scene with her positive and inquisitive approach to death and beyond.This book is actually quite difficult for me to review because I have such mixed feelings about it On the one hand it is written in a beautiful, lyrical manner like a book length poem But on the other hand I felt like I was standing on the shore watching the story unfold like the sea see it even inspires me to write expressively I felt excluded from the story, it just didn t draw me in The exploration of grief and loss was paramount to the essence of this story, but I wanted it to move past this I wanted the story to go somewhere At about three quarters of the way in I felt hopeful that Ani s life was moving forward and not just because I always hope for a romantic happily ever after because the story seemed to be pushing forward but I closed the book feeling dissatisfied It was as if Ani s life came full circle and there was little emotional growth I could connect with and understand the grief she experienced when her husband passed and I thought her role in the library was empowering for her position, but I wanted her to overcome or learn from this experience In some ways Ani felt a little flat for me, because there weren t many glimpses of her outside of her grief.This is the kind of book that will likely get literary praise and I can see why because the narrative prose is certainly clever, but at the same time it s these kind of books that leaves me feeling a little perplexed, perhaps even a little dense I feel like I m missing something There s literature that I really get and then there s literature that just misses the mark for me but I suppose reading will always be a subjective experience.The Railwayman s Wife is beautifully written and explores grief, loss and the complexities of love I felt the story was anticlimactic and so its potential wasn t quite reached It will likely appeal to literary fans and readers who are comfortable with vague and not necessarily happy endings.